Climate Heroes

A letter to our children on the 2040 we hope for…
Have you seen Damon Gameau’s 2040 yet?  It’s a great documentary, but one thing in particular we liked when we watched it was the focus on impactful, practical climate solutions.

Often, the climate conversation is heavy, with emphasis given to how bad the situation is and how it will only get worse if we don’t act. In 2040, however, Gameau creates a more positive and hopeful narrative by exploring solutions – real solutions, currently in existence – that will make things better if adopted.
Gameau uses Kate Raworth doughnut economics as a framework to explain how and why the solutions are impactful and practical.

One of the solutions Gameau explores is SolShare – a solar energy company that looks to bring affordable clean electricity to everyone in Bangladesh and beyond through smart, peer to peer grids. Customers purchase solar panels and battery storage (the SOLbox).  Then, through an IOT-driven marketplace (the SOLbazaar) they are able to sell excess energy generated back to the grid to non-solar home system users, or those who can’t afford it.

Referring to Raworth’s doughnut, this answers a number of the social shortfalls beyond energy.  It improves health by providing clean energy replacing kerosene lamps, it improves education by providing light by which children can do their homework at night, it improves social equity by allowing communities to share resource, while also providing an income. It also reduces waste, air pollution, chemical pollution, ozone layer depletion and ultimately greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.

SolShare’s founder, Neal (who is 22 by the way), explains that the success of the company so far is because of it’s decentralised and bottom up approach.

Another solution that Gameau explores is regenerative agriculture – a farming practice that looks to conserve and rehabilitate the land while farming it.  Adoption is growing in Australia as Aussie farmers suffer at the hands a harsh environment worsened by climate change and a broken system: the introduced European farming methods that aren’t suitable for Australian landscape.

In the documentary, Gameau talks with Colin Seis about his ‘multi species pasture cropping’ practice which repairs pasture topsoil by planting multiple grass species who’s root systems improves the soil’s ability to sequester carbon, absorb and retain water and nutrient density.  This in turn means that the meat that eats the crop are healthier and provide more nutrients to the humans who eat them.

Again, referring to Raworth’s doughnut, regenerative farming corrects social shortfalls by providing nutrient dense food which improving health and access to food and corrects for planetary overshoot by reducing one of the worst offenders nitrogen and phosphorus loading, as well as reducing freshwater withdrawals and carbon emissions through sequestration.

Speaking of positive outlooks and solutions…
Have you subscribed to Future Crunch?  Similar to Gameau, the team at Future Crunch aim to ‘change the story of the human race in the 21st century, by changing the stories we tell ourselves’.   The team of scientists, artists, researchers and entrepreneurs create and tell compelling, evidence-based stories about a positive future.  They also collate and share positive, solutions-based global news stories in their fortnightly newsletter.  Check it out here.

And finally…
Taking a slightly different tact, The Guardian has been hard at work on a series called the Polluters  which refocuses our attention on where real change can be made.  For example, they recently reported on the top 20 companies responsible for a third of the world’s carbon emissions, and provided the stats on the politicians most likely to vote against the climate in the UK.

Often the media can make it feel like it’s on us as individuals to make changes to our lives and habits, so this is a helpful reminder that even just a few heavy hitters changing the way they do things will make a lot more difference than we could as individuals.  It provides direction and focus for anyone prompted to act in the wake of the climate strike.

Social Enterprise Christmas Marketplace

If you are looking for a holiday gift with a purpose, we’ve created a marketplace so that you can #shopsocialenterprise this year. 

Two Feet Accelerator: Where are they now? Refugee Talent

TDi has been committed to inclusive sustainable businesses since the early days of the social enterprise movement in Australia. We’ve proudly partnered with NAB in a number of ways, one of which was the Two Feet Accelerator programs. These were designed as part of a...

It takes a village to grow an inclusive sustainable business

TDi has been committed to inclusive sustainable businesses since the early days of the social enterprise movement in Australia.

Two Feet Accelerator: Where are they now? YEVU

This week we’ve been chatting with Anna Robertson from YEVU – a social enterprise clothing brand designed and manufactured in Ghana.

YuMi Tourism Partners (Alotau) – Milne Bay Organics

“Coconut has been incredibly embedded in the Milne Bay tradition – from the food consumption through to the traditional dancing.” Last year, the YuMi pilot program took us to Alotau in Papua New Guinea, where we worked with difference maker, Rhona.

Indigenous tourism is key to economic recovery

Long-time friend, and associate of TDi, Ash Bartley has just started a new role with Visit Victoria.  We caught up with her recently to celebrate her new role and ask about the opportunity for Indigenous tourism in Australia’s economic recovery.

YuMi Tourism Partners (Alotau) – VilLink Tours & Expeditions PNG

“With what I’m doing, I want to encourage the other young women out there, that they can also have the chance to make a difference.  Not only in earning money, but sharing what they know, and getting other communities involved.”

Flexible and responsive coaching is key to sustaining women’s economic empowerment during a crisis

While each business owner faces their own set of challenges in response to the uncertainty and upheaval of COVID-19, we are observing a series of consistent coaching requirements emerge.

When life gives you lemons… pivot your business model

Nemika Brunton is based in Alotau, Papua New Guinea.  We met her during the YuMi Tourism Partners Pilot program.  The program addressed starting small, testing and learning, and how to adapt and respond to market needs.  These lessons have certainly helped Nemika shift her business focus in response to COVID-19. Tourism is a key industry for the town and many of the local businesses were tourism based.  So, the impact of COVID-19 hit the town hard.  Many locals – including Nemika – have adapted quickly to totally new businesses and customers.

Supporting Social Enterprise during COVID-19

Following a tumultuous year of bushfires, COVID-19 and recent floods in Southern NSW, lots of small businesses and the families and communities they serve, are doing it tough.  One way we’ve seen people showing their support for these local businesses is through the #shoplocal #shopvictoria and #buyfromthebush movements.  We’ve been inspired by this and wanted to share a #shopsocialenterprise guide based on some of the businesses we’ve been working with over the last 18 months.